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Starting to take painting a bit more seriously now, I always used to just stick with tonal using a pencil but I need to learn colours or else I'm gonna be a loser forever! D:
So here are some studies, one from a reference and one from imagination (note the one with purple hair is supposed to look a bit animated, this is a colour and lighting study)
The top one's looking pretty good! Try to limit your use of black to the hair. Notice that the eye shadow is a very dark blue, and only closely approaches black at its darkest. If you use too much black on things, they tend to look muddy.
Also try and keep in mind where the dark begins and end. You extended the eye shadow to the cheekbone in your rendering. This throws the image off a bit because in the reference photo there is actually a highlight occurring there.
I would also recommend being more fluid with the hair. I have a tendency to chunk it out like you have, so I'm speaking to myself as well as you here Most long hair isn't too layery, so it tends to have more of a curve to it.
In your second image it looks like youi're having a bit of trouble blending and tone distribution. At this point I would look for a reference photo that closely approximates the lighting in the drawing you're doing from imagination. It looks like the light source in this would be to the front right and below. The cast shadow on the middle part of her neck seems a little bit harsh. Also I would place some highlights on her ear because it's close to the indicated light source.
Here's a video that I found very helpful for basic photoshop painting. It's nice to start off in black and white, because then your value structure is well established and you can just do overlay layers for the colors.
What in particular are you looking to improve on? I'd be happy to link you to some other helpful resources.
Thanks for the crits there!
I took on board what you said and found a reference image that uses all of what you said I needed to work on.
I understand there may be some errors in there still but really I'm just looking at working on blending without it being overly smooth like it's all been airbrushed.
Here's what I have: